1. Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Ally from the UK. I’m 31 and have an MA in Global Development and Education. I've had various volunteer roles before: in the UK, Ghana, El Salvador, and Myanmar.
2. What is your position at LHI?
I am the Education Manager at the LHI Refugee Center in Serres, Greece.
3. How and why did you get involved with LHI?
I actually fell into teaching ten years ago volunteering with refugees and asylum seekers in the UK so I've come full circle following twelve years of teaching in different contexts around the world. When I saw the position with LHI, I knew it was something I wanted to do as I strongly believe everyone should have access to quality education, no matter their circumstances. Language in particular is so important when living in another country: not being able to communicate can make you feel lost.
4. What is a typical day for you at LHI's Refugee Center?
There is no typical day for me at LHI! Aside from teaching my class and any other classes that might need covering due to teacher shortages/sickness, I make sure everything is running smoothly for the students and teachers at the community centre; that everyone has what they need and knows where they need to go and is generally happy! Most days there is a meeting to attend either with other management or the teaching team where we may share experiences and strategize for goals moving forward.
5. What has been your most rewarding experience working at LHI’s refugee center in Greece?
I have many rewarding experiences here! Aside from small every day moments in my classes, I really enjoyed running two teacher training workshops for our resident teachers in September and November to support them with communicative language teaching.
Our Christmas talent show was also a really memorable moment for me as I got to perform with and for my students and watch others perform songs or dances they'd been working on for weeks. The atmosphere was so nice.
Recently, I also loved bringing my local salsa group to the centre and watching the kids getting involved dancing at one of our Saturday parties.
6. What have you learned since volunteering with LHI in Serres? Has your perspective on anything changed?
I've learned so much since being in Greece: about the complicated asylum process, about the Yazidi community, about leadership, and about my own capabilities in this environment and role.